If you’re a regular reader of my missives, you know that one of my continuing gripes with Google — going back many years — relates to their continuing failures to devise a system to deal appropriately with user problems in need of support escalation.
I have enormous respect for Google — a great company — but their bullheaded refusal to consider solutions that so many firms have found useful in these regards, such as ombudspersons and user advocates, is a source of continuing deep disappointment.
I’ve written about these issues so very many times over the years that I’m not going to repeat myself here, beyond saying that the usual excuse one hears — that people using free services should expect to get the level of service that they’re paying for — is not an acceptable one for services that have become so integral to so many people’s lives.
But it goes way beyond this. Escalation failures are common even with users of Google’s paid business services, and for major YouTube creators in monetary relationships with Google.
In fact, YouTube-related problems are near the top of the list of why users come to me asking for help with Google issues. Sometimes I can help them, sometimes I can’t. Either way, this isn’t something I should need to be doing from the outside of Google! Google needs to have dedicated employee roles for these escalation tasks.
I won’t here plow again over the ground that I’ve covered in the past regarding YouTube problems with Content ID and false ownership claims, and the desperation of honest YouTube creators who get crunched between the gears of YouTube’s claim/counterclaim machinery.
Rather, I’ll point to a particularly vivid very recent story of a YouTube creator who had his video (monetized with over 47 million views), ripped out from under him by someone with no actual ownership rights, and the Kafkaesque failures of Google to deal with the situation appropriately.
This case is all the more painful since this creator had enough subscribers that he had a YouTube “liaison” (something most YouTube creators don’t have, of course), but YouTube’s procedures failed so badly that even this didn’t help him. I recommend that you watch his video explaining the situation (posted just five days ago, it already has over two million views):
“How my video with 47 million views was stolen on YouTube” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4AeoAWGJBw
And keep in mind, as he points out himself, this is far from an isolated kind of case.
Google knows what’s necessary to fix these kinds of situations. You start by hiring an ombudsperson, user advocate, or create some similar dedicated roles with genuine responsibility within the firm.
Google continues to fight these concepts, and the longer that they do so, the more that they risk trust in Google being further diminished and eventually decimated.